Review by Rebecca Ting
student-acted production currently showing at the Burton Taylor
Theatre is a seamless and mature response to a challenging script.
play, in the form of four monologues, provides a chronicle of a
series of events from three different characters with conflicting
viewpoints: Frank Hardy – Faith Healer - his troubled wife Grace,
and Teddy, his mentor and manager.
by one describe their experiences of travelling round Britain, and
the impact of Frank’s sporadic healing abilities on their lives.
character is painfully conscious of their individual problems, yet
is powerless to steer themselves in any direction but tragedy.
three actors (Richard Darbourne, Polly Findlay, and Ilan Goodman)
were faultless throughout, each keeping the audience enthralled
over the course of a twenty-minute monologue through the sheer force
of emotion in the delivery.
from the darkness into the spotlight at the beginning, Darbourne’s
interpretation of Frank is immediately the showman, building instant
rapport with the audience, and even welcoming the real-life latecomers,
with "Come along folks, there are still seats at the front!"
is disturbingly convincing in her portrayal of his suffering and
neurotic wife, whilst Goodman, as Teddy, moves superbly between
the comic accounts of his bagpipe-playing dog, and despairing meditations
on his relationship with the couple.
the fact that the three characters are never onstage together, the
prickling intensity of their performances creates tension between
their conflicting accounts.
audience, not knowing whose account to believe, is constantly required
to interpret and reconcile the different viewpoints for themselves.
intimacy of the theatre was ideal for the confidential nature of
the play, and created the perfect atmosphere for this superbly-acted
Healer as a play provides a challenge for both the actors and the
audience, and this production is well-worth watching.